The bad intelligence

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2015 Pulitzer Prize Nominated Finalist

Dan Perkins, drawing as Tom Tomorrow, of Daily Kos for cartoons that create an alternate universe — an America frozen in time whose chorus of conventional wisdom is at odds with current reality.

 

Tom Tomorrow is so much better than 99.9 percent of the editorial cartoonists out there today, and he really deserves to win the Pulitzer. But someone has to write him a better cover letter.
Here’s the letter he sent to the board for this year’s entry
To whom it may concern,
Enclosed please find my entry for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize under the cartoon category. I have tried to include a representative sampling of the diverse approaches I use in my weekly efforts to inform and provoke readers through humor and satire.
I am submitting this entry in my capacity as a cartoonist for Daily Kos, but please note that my work is syndicated to approximately 80 print newspapers across the country as well.
For 25 years, I have tried to push the limits of what an editorial cartoon can be — in approach, in subject matter, in appearance. These efforts have  earned professional recognition including the 2013 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning and the RFK Journalism Award (on two occasions), and praise from sources ranging from the New York Review of Books to Entertainment Weekly to authors such as Dave Eggers and the late Kurt Vonnegut.
I thank you in advance for your time.
Go to the Pulitzer site to check out the cover letters for the other entrants in the editorial cartoon category. You’ll see that their bosses really pushed their guy, and that seems to matter in the real world. The folks at Daily Kos need to up their game and make an effort to promote their guy for a prize he definitely deserves.

Our family values story for the day

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The Tennessee Republican congressman who supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions was among those who voted in favor of a ban on most late-term abortions.

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, was one of 242 House members who voted Wednesday to pass the bill, which forbids most abortions starting with the 20th week of pregnancy.

“Congressman DesJarlais was proud to vote in favor of this legislation,” said his spokesman Robert Jameson, who added that DesJarlais has maintained a “100 percent pro-life voting record” during his five years in Congress and “has always advocated for pro-life values.”

DesJarlais’ support of his ex-wife’s abortions, which occurred before their 1995 marriage, was revealed after his 2012 re-election to Congress in a divorce trial transcript. The transcript also showed the physician had engaged in multiple affairs with patients, and pressured one of them to get an abortion after she told him she was pregnant. The outcome of that pregnancy is unknown.

People complain about government malfunction in Washington, but they keep electing hypocrites like this. The problem isn’t in Washington, it’s with the voters sending these kinds of people to Washington.

 

A look at the health of America

A couple of different maps here. The first shows the states where people take the most prescription drugs: the-bible-belt-americas-most-medicated-region-1423059291.23-2313524 And the second shows the most distinctive cause of death in each state. imrs People don’t look too healthy in Kentucky, where there’s an overabundance of people on pills and the main cause of death seems to show people can’t breathe. But in the last U.S. Senate election the winner vowed to get rid of Obamacare and to do more to promote the use of coal. This is a prime example of people voting against their own interests. But I’m really shocked by Louisiana. How can people possibly die of syphilis in the 21st century? That’s treatable. Meanwhile, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama really should reconsider their love of guns. Because guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.

From KnowMore:

The map doesn’t show the most common cause of death — that is generally heart disease or cancer. Instead, it shows the cause of death in each state that stands out the most relative to its national average

Your guide to the next election

What’s the next presidential election going to be about and who’s going to decide it.

Let’s look at the voters (click to enlarge, from Information Is Beautiful):

1276_left_right_usa

And let’s look at the choices, from Paul Krugman:

… [T]here has never been a time in American history when the alleged personal traits of candidates mattered less. As we head into 2016, each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.

For example, any Democrat would, if elected, seek to maintain the basic U.S. social insurance programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — in essentially their current form, while also preserving and extending the Affordable Care Act. Any Republican would seek to destroy Obamacare, make deep cuts in Medicaid, and probably try to convert Medicare into a voucher system.

Any Democrat would retain the tax hikes on high-income Americans that went into effect in 2013, and possibly seek more. Any Republican would try to cut taxes on the wealthy — House Republicans plan to vote next week to repeal the estate tax — while slashing programs that aid low-income families.

Any Democrat would try to preserve the 2010 financial reform, which has recently been looking much more effective than critics suggested. Any Republican would seek to roll it back, eliminating both consumer protection and the extra regulation applied to large, “systemically important” financial institutions.

And any Democrat would try to move forward on climate policy, through executive action if necessary, while any Republican — whether or not he is an outright climate-science denialist — would block efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

It doesn’t matter who gets the nomination for either party. What matters is what the parties stand for. And when you view the chart and the positions, you see there’s no ambiguity on what side you’re going to pick.

When it gets late in the election season and you hear people say they’re undecided, you should immediately know that they are either liars or morons.